Amazon.com, Inc., doing business as Amazon (/?æm??z?n/), is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, Washington, that was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994. The tech giant is the largest Internet retailer in the world as measured by revenue and market capitalization, and second largest after Alibaba Group in terms of total sales.
The amazon.com website started as an online bookstore and later diversified to sell video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry.
The company also produces consumer electronics—Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo—and is the world’s largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS and PaaS). Amazon also sells certain low-end products under its in-house brand AmazonBasics.
Amazon has separate retail websites for the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. In 2016, Dutch, Polish, and Turkish language versions of the German Amazon website were also launched.
 Amazon also offers international shipping of some of its products to certain other countries.
In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. Amazon is the fourth most valuable public company in the world (behind only Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft), the largest Internet company by revenue in the world, and after Walmart, the second largest employer in the United States. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion, which vastly increased Amazon’s presence as a brick-and-mortar retailer.
 The acquisition was interpreted by some as a direct attempt to challenge Walmart’s traditional retail stores. In 2018, for the first time, Jeff Bezos released in Amazon’s shareholder letter the number of Amazon Prime subscribers, which at 100 million, is approximately 64% of households in the United States.
1.1 Choosing a name
1.2 Online bookstore and IPO
1.4 2010 to present
1.5 Amazon Go
1.6 Mergers and acquisitions
2 Board of directors
3 Merchant partnerships
4 Products and services
5.2 Amazon Maritime
5.4 Beijing Century Joyo Courier Services
5.5 Brilliance Audio
5.12 Whole Foods Market
6.2 Content search
6.3 Third-party sellers
7 Amazon sales rank
9 Multi-level sales strategy
11.1 Selling counterfeit items
11.2 Sales and use taxes
11.3 Comments by President Trump
11.4 Working conditions
11.5 Conflict of interest
11.6 Seattle head tax and houselessness services
11.7 Facial recognition technology and law enforement
13 Notable businesses founded by former employees
14 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
Further information: Timeline of Amazon.com
The company was founded as a result of what Jeff Bezos called his “regret minimization framework,” which described his efforts to fend off any regrets for not participating sooner in the Internet business boom during that time. In 1994, Bezos left his employment as vice-president of D. E. Shaw ; Co., a Wall Street firm, and moved to Seattle, Washington, where he began to work on a business plan for what would become Amazon.com.
On July 5, 1994, Bezos initially incorporated the company in Washington State with the name Cadabra, Inc. He later changed the name to Amazon.com, Inc. a few months later, after a lawyer misheard its original name as “cadaver”. In September 1994, Bezos purchased the URL Relentless.com and briefly considered naming his online store Relentless, but friends told him the name sounded a bit sinister. The domain is still owned by Bezos and still redirects to the retailer.
Bezos selected the name Amazon by looking through the dictionary; he settled on “Amazon” because it was a place that was “exotic and different”, just as he had envisioned for his Internet enterprise. The Amazon River, he noted, was the biggest river in the world, and he planned to make his store the biggest bookstore in the world.
Additionally, a name that began with “A” was preferential due to the probability it would occur at the top of an alphabetized list. Bezos placed a premium on his head start in building a brand and told a reporter, “There’s nothing about our model that can’t be copied over time. But you know, McDonald’s got copied. And it’s still built a huge, multibillion-dollar company. A lot of it comes down to the brand name. Brand names are more important online than they are in the physical world.”
After reading a report about the future of the Internet that projected annual web commerce growth at 2,300%, Bezos created a list of 20 products that could be marketed online. He narrowed the list to what he felt were the five most promising products, which included: compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books.
Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, due to the large worldwide demand for literature, the low price points for books, along with the huge number of titles available in print. Amazon was founded in the garage of Bezos’ rented home in Bellevue, Washington. Bezos’ parents invested almost $250,000 in the start-up.
In July 1995, the company began service as an online bookstore. The first book sold on Amazon.com was Douglas Hofstadter’s Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. In the first two months of business, Amazon sold to all 50 states and over 45 countries.
Within two months, Amazon’s sales were up to $20,000/week. In October 1995, the company announced itself to the public. In 1996, it was reincorporated in Delaware. Amazon issued its initial public offering of stock on May 15, 1997, at $18 per share, trading under the NASDAQ stock exchange symbol AMZN.
Barnes ; Noble sued Amazon on May 12, 1997, alleging that Amazon’s claim to be “the world’s largest bookstore” was false because it “…isn’t a bookstore at all. It’s a book broker.” The suit was later settled out of court and Amazon continued to make
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